I've been sitting beneath this tree, oddly situated in the middle of the desert. The dry and hot winds have been blowing for the entire time. I watch the sandstorms build and pass before me. The air is sticky and the bright, glaring sun hurts my eyes.
Or I'm walking down a hallway. The only windows are at each end. Whenever I reach an end and turn the corner, I'm walking down the dark hallway of no windows again. There are no people around. The walls are dirty, as if they haven't been cleaned in a while but the markings are indistinguishable. I cannot comprehend them.
Or I'm standing in the middle of a clearing. The earth is dry. So is the hole in the middle of the clearing. But my tree is here. I can see it just there, past the hole dug in the ground. It's quite a deep hole, about eight feet. I don't know who dug the hole or what it's for.
I turn my head and I see someone on the other side of an open door but the face is blurred. There's a light coming from behind him in that room. Or maybe it's a clearing.
They're pulling someone in. Into the hole. I hear them digging and dumping soil into the hole. More people are lined up above it. I hear no screams. I walk closer but their faces are all still blurred. They don't look at me. They don't see me.
"Do I know you?"
I look up at the boy and shake my head. I gesture to the others and ask but he doesn't understand me. There are more people now, crowding the hole. I stand above it, with them, looking down into the deep hole. The hole seems deeper now, much deeper.
I wipe the sweat from my forehead with the back of my hand. It's much hotter beneath my tree. The sun hadn't let up. And the winds of the hot desert have gone up. I see sand dunes from a distance seem to collapse and cascade. The sands travelling across the desert. I squint in the sun as I see a shadowy figure approach from across the way. The image fades into a mirage after a few moments.
The hallway doesn't end. It keeps going. It keeps getting darker and the light more faint. I see shadows beyond doorways before I approach them but the doorways disappear. It's just a hallway. The windows at the end are getting smaller with every turn. There's nothing at the end of the hallways.
It is a man. I was right. Someone is coming down from across the desert, coming towards me. I squint again as I stand up, holding my hand up to shield my eyes from the glaring sun. I don't recognize him.
I ask what he is doing here.
"It was a faulty gadget sensor." He starts to explain things to me about things that I cannot understand. "We're getting everyone out, one by one. It hasn't been easy."
I crease my forehead as I look at him. I still don't understand.
"Don't worry. It'll all be over in a few seconds." He gives me a reassuring smile.
I start to ask what he was talking about and why I shouldn't worry.
It's dark in the hole. Deep and dark. There are no windows at any end. No windows. No light. No end.
I blinked several times. I heard incoherent chattering as my eyes started to focus from a dark grey blur. It's mid-afternoon and the sun was shining pleasantly from outside the tiled windows of the diner. Waitresses in red and yellow aprons were winding around tables, carrying drinks. But there were other people too.
Men in distinguished clothes, official uniforms, doctors in white robes.
I hadn't finished my pie and my coffee looked stale and cold.
The person on the other table across from me seemed in a daze, looking straight ahead. His eyes were glossed over and his pupils dilated. A doctor was leaning beside him with two policemen, waving their hands in his face.
I looked behind me. Several more people in their seats looking dazed, in front of half-eaten meals, with three or more people beside them, concernedly looking them over.
Someone patted my back and I looked up. It was him. He smiled at me again in that reassuring way as he passed me before he approached another person at the end of the row of tables. He wasn't moving. He was wearing a headset.
I creased my forehead and craned my neck to look curiously. He had his eyes closed. There were more people by his side. One of the police officers was shaking him. He didn't respond. The doctor standing there heaved a huge sigh and folded his arms across his chest in deep thought.
I panned my gaze around slowly before looking out the window.
Outside, the world was busily going by, giving curious but brief glances at the ambulances and cars parked outside of this diner that had been suspended in time, the length of which nobody would be able to determine.
I started to stand, carefully as my legs seemed weak from disuse, before I walked towards the door leading out the diner while people bustled around me, reviving the other diner patrons.
It was a faulty gadget sensor. The person who wouldn't wake up from a trance had on a synthesizer to transmit his thoughts into a virtual reality. But the mechanism had accidentally malfunctioned and everyone in the diner had been knocked out and hypnotized, all sucked into the same dream world. All of their psychoses and fantasies and fears and memories mingling in one single alternate state of mind. Inescapable. Unaware.
I squinted in the glaring sunlight as I stepped out of the diner. I could still feel the sticky, hot wind of the desert. All the faces blurred around me as they passed by. The road ahead is dark. There is but one end...
"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. Never underestimate the power, in the Twilight Zone..."
a/n: extracted a kind of plot bunny out of this freaky dream. this could've been longer but i ran out of scenarios then i forgot the other ones. it was a dream, what can you do? hehehe... probably make this into a longer fic someday when i feel like it if i get some more ideas. thanks for reading though! hope you leave a review. :)